Date & Time: Saturday, December 19th, 2020, 12 PM ET
Venue: Kohl Center, Madison, Wisconsin
The ACC/ Big Ten Challenge game will finally take place between the No. 23 Lousiville Cardinals and No. 12 Wisconsin Badgers in a top-25 showdown on Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals are playing their first game since Dec. 1 due to players testing positive for COVID-19, as this game was originally scheduled for Dec. 9.
Louisville Cardinals Preview
Despite not playing a game in 18 days, the Louisville Cardinals have moved up in the AP Top-25 poll but will still be shorthanded due to COIVD-19 contract tracing protocols and injuries. Louisville coach Chris Mack mentioned to the Louisville Report earlier this week that the Cardinals will only have "seven or eight" available scholarship players out of their 12. One of the players Louisville will be without this weekend is their co-captain center Malik Williams, who is sidelined with a foot injury.
Although health issues have rightly been the topic for the Louisville Cardinals this season, they have been off to an impressive start offensively, averaging 78 points per game. The Louisville Cardinals will need to continue their offensive efficiency to upset the disciplined Wisconsin Badgers.
Key Player - Carlik Jones
Carlik Jones, the senior transfer out of Radford University, is the key player for the Louisville Cardinals. The 2020 Big South Conference Player of the Year has started his senior season on fire, leading his team in scoring with 17.3 points per game and shooting 60% from behind the arc. With a less than full strength Louisville side, Jones will need to step up his play even more to push the Cardinals to a win against the Badgers.
Louisville Cardinals Predicted Lineup
Jae'Lyn Withers, Quinn Slazinski, Dre Davis, Carlik Jones, David Johnson
Wisconsin Badgers Preview
The Wisconsin Badgers will look to break into the top 10 with a win against the Louisville Cardinals on Saturday. The Badgers have shown they can win this season in many ways, whether through their impressive defense or catching fire from three.
The Badgers have the sixth-best defensive efficiency in the NCAA, according to advanced metric site kenpom.com. Wisconsin will have to remain aggressive on defense and look to make a Cardinals team that has been able to put up points feel uncomfortable.
Key Player - Nate Reuvers
Nate Reuvers is the key player for the Wisconsin Badgers. The senior out of Minnesota is the defensive leader for the Badgers, with 13 blocks already tracked on the year. Look for Reuvers to control the paint with his 6'11" frame against Louisville's side that is missing their starting center, Malik Williams.
Wisconsin Badgers Predicted Lineup
Micah Potter, Aleem Ford, Nate Reuvers, D'Mitrik Trice, Brad Davison
Louisville vs. Wisconsin Prediction
The Wisconsin Badgers will come away with a win against the short-handed Louisville Cardinals this weekend in the rescheduled ACC/Big Ten Challenge game. The Badgers' frontcourt presence will be too much for the Cardinals without their defensive leader.
How to watch Louisville vs. Wisconsin
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.